Published by Princeton Architectural Press
Summary: Otto the squirrel isn’t particularly interested in the spiky green ball that has landed on a branch outside his front door until it breaks open, and a fuzzy white creature emerges. After leaving the creature outside for awhile, Otto reluctantly brings him inside for the night. Over the next several days, the squirrel hunts around his neighborhood for the creature’s mother, while Pio grows substantially larger every night. While Otto worries about what to do with this gigantic creature who is taking over his house, Pio busies himself cooking and cleaning for Otto. Finally, Otto leaves home, feeling like he no longer can share space with such a large roommate. As he searches for a new place, an eagle swoops down, ready to grab the squirrel in its talons. It’s Pio to the rescue as the monster arrives in the nick of time. Otto finally realizes that Pio has become part of his family, and the two head back home hand in hand. 64 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: A sweet story of friendship and an unconventional family, endearingly illustrated with ink and watercolors.
Cons: The 64-page length may not lend itself to all preschool attention spans.